Oyebanji to Ekiti Obas: Your Labour for a Will Not Be in Vain
Receives royal blessings amidst glowing tributes
By Alade Ojo
The Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, Mr Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji (BAO), has assured traditional rulers in the state that his decision to vie for the governorship position is to reposition the state as well as join hands with the traditional institution to better the lots of Ekiti people.
Oyebanji met with the monarchs at their chamber in Ado Ekiti, spoke brilliantly about how Ekiti Obas laboured and sacrificed their comfort, in the quest to actualize the creation of the State in 1996.
A statement signed by Raheem Akingbolu
to Oyebanji and made available to Irohinoodua narrated how the APC candiddate traced his relationship with the traditional institution to 1994, when, as a young university teacher, he submitted a proposal on the creation of Ekiti State and the roles the Obas could play to the leadership of Ekiti Obas at the Palace of Ewi of Ado Ekiti.
He pointed out that that early encounter with the Obas and their approval of his proposal, led to his appointment, first, as Assistant Secretary and later as Secretary to the Committee for the Creation of Ekiti State.
While acknowledging the importance of traditional institutions in modern governance, the APC gubernatorial candidate pointed out that perhaps there wouldn’t have been anything like Ekiti State today that provides a platform for various contests and developments if the traditional rulers were not there to give their support during the struggle for the state creation. In the light of this, Oyebanji assured traditional rulers in the state that he would accord them the necessary respect and make sure their interest and wellbeing are well protected if he becomes Governor of Ekiti State.
“I hold Ekiti Obas in high esteem because I had worked with them as a young University teacher and can vouch for their steadfast, commitment and love for our dear state. I can beat my chest anywhere that Ekiti can boast of progressive and committed traditional rulers because their sacrifices and commitment gave us what we have today as Ekiti State.
” I remember how they travelled by road on several occasions to Abuja, I know how they committed their time and resources and I was a witness to how, through love and maturity, they resolved the debate over choice of state capital, without any rancour in the interest of Ekiti State. For all these, it is difficult and impossible for me as an individual not to regard and reference our traditional institution.”
Speaking further on how important he held the traditional institution, Oyebanji disclosed that the party intentionally tarried a while before commencing on its governorship campaign because he insisted on meeting the traditional rulers for their blessings before embarking on the campaign exercise.
Earlier, Chairman of the Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers and the Onisan of Isan-Ekiti, Oba Gabriel Ayodele Adejuwon had described Oyebanji as a throughbred and homegrown Ekiti man with a lot of experiences, garnered within and outside the government, which are needed to govern Ekiti.
The traditional ruler then announced to his colleagues that the main reason the governorship candidate came to meet them was to receive their blessings.
Owa Ooye of Okemesi-Ekiti, HRM, Oba Michael Gbadebo Adedeji, who led the ‘Iwure’ (royal blessings) for Oyebanji also corroborated the position of Onisan that the candidate was a true Ekiti son, who had demonstrated high sense of responsibilities and impacted the state and the people positively in various ways and manner.
The royal father prayed for his victory at the polls on June 18 and advised politicians, especially people following BAO to be truthful and passionate in their resolve to lift Ekiti state, without undermining the traditional institution. He also urged Oyebanji to always strive, whenever he assumes office, to keep to his campaign promises.